Quang Ngai Tourism: Advantages and Opportunities for Higher Growth

10:05:26 AM | 3/31/2023

Quang Ngai is endowed with many historical and cultural landmarks along with beautiful natural landscapes to become an ideal destination for tourists seeking to enjoy maritime tourism, cultural tourism and ecological tourism.

The local gong performance of the Hre people is recognized as the National Intangible Cultural Heritage by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Over the past time, Quang Ngai province has paid much attention to tourism development with its ongoing efforts to plan, attract and invest in tourism infrastructure, improve tourism service quality and create various tourism products and new destinations. The province is potentially capable to become one of leading tourist destinations of Vietnam," said Mr. Nguyen Tien Dung, Director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Quang Ngai province.

Abundant tourism potential

In the past, Quang Ngai was famously known as “Cam Thanh with 12 beautiful landscapes” that already entered poetry and literature with majestic and charming natural beauties like Thien An - Niem Ha and Co Luy Co Thon. In western mountains, the province is blessed with scenic landscapes such as Trang (White) Waterfall (Minh Long), Chi Stream (Nghia Hanh), Tra Boi Stream and Ca Dam Mountain (Tra Bong). In the plains, it has Nghia Thuan and, Mo Duc hot springs. In addition, with a 130-km plus coastline, it has many romantic beaches and unique natural masterpieces that bring in huge potential for ecotourism development, including My Khe, Sa Huynh and Ganh Yen beaches, Trang Waterfall, Chi Stream, Ca Cai Pond and Ca Ninh mangrove palm forest.

In its sea waters of over 11,000 square kilometers lies pristine and magnificent Ly Son Island, which is likened to the Pearl of the Sea. Ly Son is a living museum of tangible and intangible cultural heritages, marine volcanic geological heritages and many valuable historical documents portraying the formation and protection of Vietnam's sovereignty of the East Sea from many centuries ago, clearly favorable for the province to develop resort, swimming, entertainment, sporting and discovery tourism. Currently, according to the direction of the provincial government and the direction of the central government, Ly Son Island is being invested and developed to become a national tourism center.

Quang Ngai is an interexchange place of Champa culture, Sa Huynh culture, and ancient Vietnamese culture. The quintessence of major cultures is still imbued in each monument and cultural site, as well as the lifestyle, customs, practices, rituals, folklore and culinary arts of indigenous inhabitants. The province is considered the cradle of Sa Huynh Culture with 26 out of more than 80 discovered sites excavated for study. In December 2022, the Sa Huynh cultural archeological site in Duc Pho Town was recognized as a special national relic, which consisted of six sites: Long Thanh Relic, Phu Khuong Relic, Thanh Duc Relic, Thanh Duc Relic, An Khe Lagoon Relic, An Khe Canal - Cua Lo River and Champa Monument.

Moreover, Quang Ngai is also home to many famous tourist attractions which interest tourists seeking to discover historical and cultural values such as Prime Minister Pham Van Dong Memorial Monument, Son My Memorial Site, Memorial House of Hoang Sa - Bac Hai Fleet, Hang Pagoda, An Vinh Communal House and An Hai Communal House. Besides, joining traditional festivals such as Hoang Sa Guard Enrolment Ceremony, boat races, fish worshipping rituals, crop praying rituals, buffalo festivals and ancestral rituals will give visitors life experiences with friendly and hospitable local people.

Artifacts belonging to Sa Huynh Culture are displayed at Sa Huynh Culture Gallery

Initial outcomes

Defining its tourism development strengths, Quang Ngai province has grasped advantageous resources, focused on investment resources for upgrading technical and transport infrastructure in tourist areas, attracted more tourism investors and gradually met recreational and entertainment needs of people and visitors. Currently, the province has about 360 accommodation facilities with more than 4,500 rooms. Ly Son island district has 134 accommodation facilities with 1,083 rooms. The province is home to 17 travel companies, including one international travel firm and three international travel branches, and 17 tourism investment projects with a total capital fund of more than VND11,770 billion approved by the Provincial People's Committee.

Quang Ngai tourism products are increasingly diversified and their quality is improved, notably maritime tourism products such as resort, beach, entertainment, sporting, medical and discovery tourism in My Khe, Ly Son, Sa Huynh, Van Tuong and Khe Hai beaches. Besides, cultural and historical tourism products linked with festivals, religion, research and education is exploited well. At the same time, ecotourism is also developed at Chi Stream, Trang Waterfall, Nghia Thuan Hot Spring and Bai Dua Eco Resort and Go Co village community tourism.

In 2022, Quang Ngai welcomed 650,000 visitors, an increase of 2.17 times over 2021. International visitors reached 11,000, an increase of 3.2 times. Tourism revenue amounted at VND700 billion, up 2.98 times. Tourism development has been contributing to accelerating economic restructuring, employment, better material and spiritual life of people, international integration and overall socioeconomic development.

In addition to the results achieved, Mr. Nguyen Tien Dung, Director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, admitted, "Many picturesque landscapes and historical sites, both in the mountains and in the plains, have not yet been tapped. The connectivity of tours and tourist routes is still fragmented. The province's tourism products are still modest and not competitive. Quang Ngai lacks capable investors and has yet to attract strategic investors to lead local tourism development. Only the transport infrastructure supports tourism while other resort infrastructure, culinary infrastructure and other infrastructure are weak."

Breakthrough development

To develop effective and competitive tourism as expected to create motivations for development, in November 2021, Quang Ngai Provincial Party Committee issued Resolution 05-NQ/TU on tourism development, which aims to make tourism a key economic sector. Accordingly, by 2025, Quang Ngai tourism will recover and develop to make positive contributions to the economy and make Quang Ngai one of attractive coastal destinations in the Southern Central Coast to create a premise for breakthrough tourism development in the next period. By 2025, the province will strive to welcome 1.36 million visitors, including 160,000 international visitors, representing an average annual growth of over 24%. Total tourism revenue will climb to VND2,780 billion.

He added, “In the spirit of Resolution 05-NQ/TU and the Quang Ngai Tourism Development Project to 2025, with an eye to 2030, some key tourism development tasks have been defined. Specifically, Quang Ngai will focus on spreading information and raising public awareness and the mindset of tourism development; mobilizing investment resources for building traffic infrastructure, technical infrastructure and tourism service infrastructure; and developing and improving the quality of tourism human resources. Furthermore, the province will continue to effectively unlock and promote advantageous tourism resources, diversify tourism products and enhance product quality; preserve, restore, upgrade and promote historical and cultural sites, scenic spots, archaeological sites, architectural and artistic artefacts to serve tourism development."

Currently, Quang Ngai is focusing on attracting investment fund in a bid to have two national tourist areas by 2030 (My Khe and Ly Son), four provincial tourist sites (Sa Huynh, Nui Ngang Lake, Thach Bich and Binh Chau) and six tourist attractions (Chi Stream, Bui Hui Steppe, Hre - Ba To Cultural Experience Village, Binh Thanh - Nghia Hanh Orchard, Go Co - Duc Pho village community tourism and Cay Go - Mo Duc community tourism site). 

In addition, the province will strongly develop three main tourism product lines, with maritime tourism being the key, cultural tourism being the focus and ecotourism being the foundation for sustainable tourism development. Developing community tourism products in Ly Son district and Go Co village and Hre cultural experiences in Ba To district; encourage and facilitate rural people to take part in tourism and agricultural tourism.

Moreover, the province will renovate tourism promotion, advertisement and development cooperation. Quang Ngai will carry out the "Digital transformation in tourism" project to better meet tourists' needs; develop 4D and VR360 technology for tourist experiences at places of interest in the province. It will strengthen cooperation with tourism-developed provinces and cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and localities in the Central Key Economic Zone to develop tourism and form tourism development chains to better meet increasing needs of tourists. 

Nguyen Bach (Vietnam Business Forum)